It will be the end of an era for Sleaford Concert Band as its Director of Music Jim McQuade has announced he is to stand down after 20 years of committed service next year.
The extremely-talented and versatile musician served 22 years in the Royal Air Force and played with the RAF College Band, later becoming a school music teacher and was Director of Music for Sleaford Concert Band at its inception nearly 20 years ago.
In that time he has developed what is a high quality, well respected wind band that performs at prestigious events both here and overseas. Jim has taken the Band to Marquette Le Lilles, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona.
Next year will see the Band performing a number of concerts in Ypres Belgium. The tour will conclude with the Sleaford Concert Band performing at the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in the 100th anniversary year of the end of the First World War. A fitting way for Jim to stand aside for his successor.
Jim also started and continues to lead the very successful Miller Magic Big Band, plays in Kellar Kapellar (the German Band) and the Sleaford Concert Band Brass Quintet. Although Jim is relinquishing the baton as Director of Music he is certainly not giving up his involvement and commitment to a band that has been an important part of his life. He will be joining the band on trombone - one of the many instruments he plays.
As a result of his decision, the band is currently recruiting for a new Director of Music to take up the position next year and has had considerable interest.
Before that there is much to look forward to. The Heckington Show Grand Firework Concert at this year’s 150th Heckington Show will be spectacular. Jim has picked an amazing programme fitting for this celebration which will conclude with the 1812 Overture and firework display. The Poppy Prom has always been another highlight both for the Royal British Legion and Sleaford Concert Band and this year watch out for a very special musical event featuring Jim McQuade.
When he steps down, Jim will leave arguably one of the best concert bands in the East Midlands that has developed under his leadership.